When you think of self-driving cars, you probably think of companies like Waymo (Google’s spin-off), or maybe even Tesla. Self-driving car technology has come a long way in the last few years, but it still has quite the distance to go. No pun intended. The reason that we are still a ways off from actually having self-driving cars is that we don’t necessarily have the infrastructure to support it. That said, there are a lot of companies out there who are looking into this technology and trying to figure out the best way to get it moving. In fact, Apple has a secret self-driving car project, code-named Project Titan.
What’s interesting is that Apple just laid off over 200 employees who have been working on Project Titan. Why exactly? That’s not exactly known, however, Apple officials are saying this is in anticipation of restructuring within the company. Further, the people who were laid off didn’t necessarily know that these layoffs were coming.
That said, Apple has been working on attempting to develop a self-driving car since 2014. Of course, rumors started to fly the following year, but the whole project seems to have been kept quiet for a while now. It’s also being reported that Apple has been recruiting a number of engineers and executives from car companies, including Doug Field, who left Tesla before rejoining Apple in August of 2018. But we haven’t heard much about the project itself.
In fact, many have believed that Apple was building a self driving car (or minivan), but what we are hearing now is that folks in Cupertino might not be working on a physical car itself, but rather working on software for these kinds of cars. But no one outside of Apple actually knows for sure. A
“We have an incredibly talented team working on autonomous systems and associated technologies at Apple. As the team focuses their work on several key areas for 2019, some groups are being moved to projects in other parts of the company, where they will support machine learning and other initiatives, across all of Apple. We continue to believe there is a huge opportunity with autonomous systems, that Apple has unique capabilities to contribute, and that this is the most ambitious machine learning project ever.”Apple spokesperson
A lot of the information that anyone has seen in this regard is through public filings and applications for permits with the state of California. Other leaks include a minor accident that one of Apple’s test cars was involved in last summer and a lawsuit that involves a former Apple engineer who allegedly stole trade secrets and shared them with a Chinese startup called XMotors.
What does all of this mean? I think that self-driving cars are the future, but I think that people are skeptical of them. We have heard a lot about accidents involving self-driving vehicles, so I think that it’s fair for people to think they aren’t necessarily reliable. Accidents will happen – it’s a fact of life. But people want more certainty